What the Fuck are my Hobbies?
I really, really wanted to write a tribute to gaming for this article, but a little part of my brain kept bothering me every time I tried. “Kirstin,” it said. “You’re a writer. Write about writing.”
Fine, brain, I’ll try to write about writing.
“Oh, but what about photography? You were a concert photographer. And don’t forget the ghost hunting group, and Twitch streaming, and baking, and—”
It would appear that, despite my love of writing and gaming, my ultimate hobby is hobbies.
Honestly, as with most things in my life, it seems to come back to mental illness. I might sound like a broken record about my Borderline Personality Disorder, but I don’t really give a fuck; in my life, everything really does come back down to my BPD. Yes, even my hobbies.
Let me explain.
Part of BPD is an inherent fear of abandonment, so people who suffer from the disorder are prone to be people pleasers in order to prevent people from abandoning us. We’re chameleons, ever changing to suit the needs of the present company and situation. My identity is wrapped up in the way others perceive me.
Constantly trying to please the people around us is exhausting. People are diverse, and you can never please everyone at the same time. It worries me that I might seem fickle, but that’s not (entirely) the case. I might be obsessed with live casting one week, but I’ve totally forgotten it by the next when I announce that I am finally going to learn to code. The saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” fits me perfectly. I can shoot a longbow but probably not hit a bullseye. I participated in NaNoWriMo (an annual event where participants attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days) but stopped at 30,000 words. When my church needed a new piano player, I bought a keyboard and learned to play a couple of songs before I stuffed it in my closet for two years.
This is why my hobbies are hobbies themselves. The positive spin on my chameleon-esque persona is that I get the opportunity to jump into new things all the time with fervor and determination. I am enthusiastic about learning new things just to say that I can. BPD is a gigantic asshole, but the way I see it is that with this bullshit mental illness comes with a blessing in disguise. What often starts as a way for my BPD to find common ground with someone develops into the chance to learn something new and exciting. It becomes another tick on the never-ending list of hobbies that I keep in my mind, like a Rolodex, should another photographer or baker or garage band singer show up in my life. It gives me an in, so to speak—and once in awhile, if I’m lucky, a few of these hobbies take root in my life and blossom into something more than a hobby. They become a part of me and of my fragile identity.